An extract from the kava plant can treat people with chronic anxiety, an study from Australia finds.
Patients with generalized anxiety disorder who took kava extract tablets for six weeks showed a significant reduction in their symptoms, compared with a control group that took placebo pills, the results showed.
The study confirms previous findings showing the anti-anxiety effects of kava, a psychoactive plant native to the Pacific region.
Kava is culturally important among many Pacific Islanders, and is used in rituals and ceremonies. Consuming kava may induce a mild sedation and euphoria, a numbing effect and enhanced social interaction. It is prepared in various forms, such as grinding the plant or brewing its roots.